Cheryl Dunye's 1996 film The Watermelon Woman earned a place in cinematic history as the first feature-length narrative film written and directed by an out black lesbian about black lesbians. This article examines how the film provides an important opportunity to mark the burgeoning genre of black queer documentary as a historiographical medium. The documentary film is a tool that highlights underexplored issues in black experience and provides a cultural site for imagining new possibilities for black lesbian subjectivity and creating innovative approaches to representing sexuality in black filmmaking.